Facebook is under serious fire now that the privacy breach by Cambridge Analytica is out in the open. Even Congress is summoning Zuckerberg for some explanations. Facebook users around the world are deleting their accounts out of fear of more privacy violations and information theft. On the other hand, Facebook’s responses to the incident haven’t been reassuring enough so far.
The current situation faced by Facebook is a bit more complicated than you think, but there is one important takeaway from the Cambridge Analytica case: we must be more involved in securing our information online. Here are the most important things to know about the Facebook situation.
It’s Not a Hack
A lot of news outlets reported on the incident as a data breach or a hack. Well, it isn’t. Cambridge Analytica didn’t break any of Facebook’s security measures to steal your data. Instead, they released several apps that (politely) asked for permission to review your personal information as well as details about your friends. When you agree to those terms, you’re giving the company access to sensitive details, albeit unknowingly.
From the nature of the incident, it is easy to see how to better safeguard your online information. You need to be more aware of the permissions asked by apps – not just on Facebook, but on other social media and services as well. Read through the details, spend some time screening the terms and conditions, and only use apps you know you can trust.
At the moment, it is also a good idea to do a quick audit of apps that have those permissions and remove the ones you no longer use. If you don’t remember giving permission to certain apps, remove them too.
Backups Are Important
Another important thing to note about the current situation with Facebook is the importance of having your own backups. Trusting Facebook to keep your children’s photos for years to come is not the way to go. You need to have at least one cloud backup as well as an offline backup of important files, including photos and videos.
Secure Data Recovery recommends doing some cleaning regularly; I think this is a good habit to get into indeed. You want to declutter your data regularly so that you don’t end up with thousands of files that you no longer need.
Facebook Isn’t Happy
Keep in mind that it is in Facebook’s best interest to protect your personal information, which is why the company is really unhappy about the incident. Facebook is blocking access to third-party information and stopping apps from accessing details about your friends; the company is rolling out more privacy measures too.
That said, it is still up to you to determine who has access to your personal details online. Facebook may be doing the best it can to protect your information, but that doesn’t mean you can relax and accept things. You still need to be more proactive in deciding what to share or upload, apps to use, and access to give at any given time. Only then can you fully protect your private details when using online services.